Giving back is an important part of being a well-rounded individual and leader. It is actually a part of my DNA, and one of the activities that I participate in the most in my life, besides sleeping. I realize that I’ve been incredibly blessed in life, and giving back to the world around me is part of who I am and very important to me. It is a part of my identity. What ways do I give back?
Giving Back at Work
There are a lot of different ways that I give back at work, and make the world a better place around myself. I organize a site-wide event each year for everyone on our site called “Fish or Treat”. We get together, have decorated halls, and the kids come in dressed up to go trick or treating down each hall and decorated conference room. It’s a tremendous morale booster, and costs the company only time and lost productivity. But they gain back that cost and more in productivity and improved morale.
I lead a Light the Night Team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society each year, and we routinely raise at least $2,000. We throw a silent auction and a bake sale, and everyone is encouraged to participate. Another activity with minimal cost, but once again a huge boost to those around me.
My desk is stocked with a nice array of snacks that are available for everyone to come by and taste. I refer to the snacks as “bait”, as they encourage people to come by and talk to me – many of whom might not otherwise come by. The snacks also make for a nicer work-place, and make it seem “friendlier” on the whole. It’s an inexpensive way to give back, and improve morale.
Volunteering for the Girl Scouts, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and other organizations takes up a significant amount of my personal time. I currently lead three different Girl Scout Troops, and have held other positions before going back to school. For me, the Girl Scouts is important because it helps instill the values in the next generation that I particularly value – leadership, life skills, business skills, and encouraging girls to explore STEM careers. This is my tenth year as a leader, and I intend to continue for the foreseeable future.
One of the most obvious ways to give back is simply by donating money. Pick a couple of favorite and credible charities, and donate to those. Sending cash or a check is best, as the charity avoids losing money to credit card transaction fees. Beware of anyone who calls you asking for money, as the caller may be a third-party that has been hired, and may take a significant percentage of the donation.
Some of them require more effort than others. They are all character building, and that’s a good thing. I’m pretty sure that the world would be a better place if we would all just give back a tiny bit more.